$1.7 trillion says a bundle about data losses and downtime

By anyone’s standards, US$1,700,000,000,000.00 is a lot of money.

According to the findings of a recently released study, globally, enterprises are losing as much as $1.7 trillion through data loss and unplanned downtime.

The EMC Global Data Protection Index (GDPI), which was commissioned by EMC Corp. and conducted by the global technology market research firm Vanson Bourne, is the result of interviews with 3,300 IT decision makers from 24 countries. All respondents were from enterprise-size organizations of at least 250 employees or more.
The study had three primary goals:
•    Calculate the impact of data loss to existing businesses.
•    Assess the maturity level of data protection strategies in multiple countries.
•    Measure IT leaders’ confidence in protecting new and emerging workloads—cloud, big data, and mobility.

In assessing the maturity level of their organization’s data protection, IT decision makers were asked questions relating to their backup and recovery experience, strategy, and infrastructure. Points were awarded to each organization based on the maturity of their data protection strategy, including for shorter recovery times, confidence in backup infrastructure, modern backup systems, and the ability to replicate data offsite. Here are the results:
•    Laggards (scored between 1–25 points): 36.8 percent
•    Evaluators (scored between 26–50 points): 49.5 percent
•    Adopters (scored between 51–75 points): 11.3 percent
•    Leaders (scored between 76–100 points): 2.4 percent

Only 13 percent of organizations globally can be described as adopters or leaders, or, in other words, those who are ahead of the maturity curve. Clearly, many organizations need to redefine their data protection strategy, especially when one considers that of the organizations represented in the study, during the past 12 months:
•    64 percent experienced data loss or unplanned downtime
•    49 percent experienced unplanned downtime
•    32 percent experienced data loss
•    17 percent experienced data loss and downtime

Worldwide, the estimated annual cost for disruptions equates to $754 billion for data loss and $954 billion for downtime, for a total of $1.7 trillion. Regardless of whether an organization is defined as a laggard, evaluator, adopter, or leader, organizations large and small are losing money as the result of data loss and unplanned downtime. But it doesn’t have to be that way. EMC recommends the following:
•    Make sure there’s an appropriate data protection solution in place for all of your critical data no matter where it is or how it is generated.
•    Manage an integrated data protection strategy and maintain a level of visibility and control for application owners.
•    Evaluate the gaps in your protection strategy that may emerge from disparate vendor solutions.
•    Match your data protection approach with the availability and protection requirements for your tiers of applications/data.
•    Understand who owns data protection, especially in the cloud.

All companies can do more to ensure that one of their primary assets—their data—is protected from loss, damage, or theft. After all, no one needs to be convinced that being a laggard is a lot more costly than being a leader. Fortunately, the tools are available to avoid contributing to that $1.7 trillion for disruptions. You CAN be a leader.

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